The Edmonton Oilers have released Jake Virtanen from his professional tryout, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported Thursday.
Virtanen, 26, joined the Oilers ahead of training camp this year and drew in for six preseason games. Throughout the games, Virtanen scored two assists — both in his final two games against the Vancouver Canucks. He fired six shots on net and took two penalties during his stint.
Bringing Virtanen into camp drew controversy from the Oilers’ fan base and as camp went on, it was clear he was unable to make a noticeable impact in any sense of the term.
On hockey merit alone, there was nothing from Virtanen’s previous stint in the NHL or in his recent KHL stint that suggested he would be able to do much for the Oilers at all. The Oilers gave him more than enough opportunity to prove his worth, too.
While stats were unavailable for Wednesday’s neutral site preseason game against the Vancouver Canucks, Virtanen had played over 16 minutes on the powerplay through five other preseason games generating just two shots. While on the ice, Virtanen appeared to have the same issues that plagued him with the Canucks previously: a player who had no clear purpose on the ice.
There were times where Virtanen could’ve put in the extra effort to finish a body check, or get in deep on a forecheck, but this never seemed to happen.
For the Oilers, one has to wonder if the slack they took from the NHL world was worth the professional tryout.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]
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